Loving you makes life worth living..
“You need to jog”. “You would look better if you were a bit smaller you know” “You need to slim down a little then you will be perfect”. My weight was what will stand in between us getting married and even having kids, according to him. I started dieting and exercising, not for myself but for him. I did anything it took to get him to notice me again and show him I was working on my weight so I could have a family with him one day. I would starve myself, exercise, go on fad diets, anything just so my weight will go down so that I could hear me say he loved me. For some strange reason his love was something I did not want to let go, because I did not believe that I could ever get another man to love me. Love was something I yearned for, but the interesting thing is, the love I was seeking was from someone else, another human. I later discovered the truth about this love I was yearning for, the love that I thought if I had, would make me seem acceptable in this world, the love that I believed would make me whole.
The funny thing about life is that you never know whom you will meet and how the person will forever change your life. I remember growing up watching talk shows with baby sitters and seeing big girls in relationships, I assumed it was fake and it was simply for entertainment purposes. I never understood how a guy could or would be in a relationship with a person overweight. I always had this presumption that a guy would never want a big girl and always felt the need to prove myself to anyone around me that I could be "loved". I began dating guys I knew were below my standards, feeling due to my size, that was what I could get. Any guy that came my way or noticed me I accepted. I would talk to; date, only to show the world that fat girls actually dated and somewhat that made me feel better. It was not until I met my mister right.. Or so I thought.. I will not disclose this name but I sure believed I was in love.
A handsome guy who had an actual job and a career goal actually wanted to talk to me yet alone date me. I was shocked and instantly made him aware that he definitely had my attention. Phone conversations became longer, dates became interesting and before you knew it I fell in love. I fell in love with a guy that told me I was pretty and told me he loved me, and that’s it. That’s all I needed to hear, His opinion mattered, what I wore mattered, if he was not happy I was not happy, this turn into an obsession. I was obsessed with the idea that someone loved me and I lost myself in the relationship. I changed my whole life and based every decision I wanted to make on how he felt first, just to keep him. Fights became battlefields that led into river of tears, then he admitted that my weight was an issue. With this, I felt completely lost.
This was a battle for days, the more I battled with finding who I was the more I battled with understanding why I was in this relationship to begin with. After days and weeks passed, I came to realize that the love I really needed was the love for myself. I know it sounds cliche, but seriously, how could a guy love me when I did not love myself? What guy would want to be in a relationship whereby he has to convince his partner that she is beautiful? I did not love my body, I did not love me. I do not even think I knew who I really was or what I aspired to do, I just knew that I was fat and that I am something the world did not want to see. Then it came, the day I finally decided to actually look in the mirror. I use to hide from mirrors, anything that showed my reflection I ran, never wanted to see myself, or my body at all. But one day I looked in the mirror to face the person and the body I tried to run away from. I stared hard and began crying. “ I want to love you,” I repeated constantly. Then I looked up to ask God, “ Do you yourself even love this body? Why would you create me in this form and have me be laughing stock for the world?” But somehow I heard “ you are beautiful and I created you in my own image, Love yourself as I love you. If you hate this body you are hating my creation and for that I am hurt. You are beautiful and You need to see what I see” Those words ran across my mind for hours as I stared at myself. I wanted to change, I wanted to feel happy, I did not want a man’s love to make me feel loved. That day, I decided I wanted happiness, and the day I told myself that, began my journey of self-love.
Self-love is not an easy thing. One does not wake up in the morning and just begin to love themselves. It is a journey, a long hard journey. There are moments when I do not love myself and moments when I feel like a queen. One thing I learned about self-love especially while being in a relationship is that you cannot lose yourself or your worth. If you do not see or acknowledge your value, anything negative that comes your way will take over you and eventually ruin you. Self love produces confidence, and being confident in yourself leads to a better you, a better you that your loved ones can respect, and most importantly a better you than you can respect. It's hard when you have some much insecurities lined up, but you cannot let that define you. YOU define who are you, you have the power to control your emotions and choose whom to have in your life. And when you starting loving yourself, you become free and start living the life God has for you. When you love you, you live.
Today I look in the mirror and I do not see a fat girl, I see a beautiful woman who knows her worth and each day reminds herself that she is a beauty and destined for something great. My body does not define who I am. I will not let the name Anita be associated with that fat girl and even if it does, guess what I am not just that fat girl. I am Anita, the daughter to a beautiful strong Ghanaian woman, the oldest sister to three beautiful, intelligent, sassy, funny, young girls. The friend to some of the most amazing women known to this earth, the coworker that loves to put a smile on your face and call you sunshine to make you feel better, the funny, sometimes awkward, sweetest person you will ever meet. And sassy here and there, depending on the day. My body is not who I am, the numbers on the scale does not define my character. I am Anita Matey and I am worth to be loved by someone great, and that someone is ME.
Photographer: Xavier, Instagram: @Viervisuals
Makeup: CiCi B, Instagram: @enhancedbycici, @beautyis718
Gown by: Mimmy Yeboah, Instagram: @mimmy.yeboah